Adina Levin, a Menlo Park resident and one of the group’s leaders, said she was concerned about the initiative’s impact on both Menlo Park housing and other local projects, such as B. the rebuilding of the Menlo Park Fire District headquarters on Middlefield Road designated as a single family home.
“(I want residents to know what the voting measure is actually doing in terms of preventing affordable housing,” Levin said, adding that the impact will include a loss of housing in high-opportunity areas and impact non-residential projects such as the HQ the firebrigade.
Karen Grove, a Menlo Park resident and another group leader, said MPNAH was formed a few weeks ago when residents became aware of the initiative and heard that San Mateo’s Housing Leadership Council had warned that the initiative could have regional implications.
“We are particularly concerned about this action because it would impact the entire city and region,” said Evelyn Stivers, executive director of the County Housing Leadership Council, an organization dedicated to promoting accessible and affordable housing in San Mateo County . “I’m afraid if it gets passed and goes into effect, every little town in the Bay Area and in the state is going to be like, ‘Oh yeah, we’re going to get one of these passed,’ and that would be really, It’s really hard for the state to meet our housing needs and find creative solutions to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents.
The launch event featured several speeches, including one from Andrew Lie, a trustee for the Jefferson Union High School District, which is building affordable teacher housing in Daly City. The event also had information stations on the impact of housing on communities, including one on environmental sustainability.
“Environmental justice and housing justice are inextricably linked,” said Cade Cannesy of Climate Resilient Communities. “Your first and most immediate environment is your home, and all of the climate impacts we are concerned about, extreme heat, smoke, air quality, flooding, sea level rise, all of these issues are mediated through the quality, safety, affordability and accessibility of housing .”
Another station explained the long history of segregation in Menlo Park school districts and housing. Juanita Croft, who said she has lived in Belle Haven for a long time, said Menlo Park has a history of redlining and discrimination dating back to the 1940s, when Belle Haven and Ravenswood High School were both segregated, according to Croft.
“The problem with Menlo Balance, quite frankly, is that they use an old discriminatory practice to discriminate against affordable housing and therefore use the single-family home as a strategy to segregate,” Croft said.
She added that the state has already struck down similar bills as a discriminatory practice, and that Menlo Park would be liable for a lawsuit if the initiative went through.
Information about MPNAH can be found on its website.